I was skeptical at first, but these absolutely wonderful books easily surpass the anime. The story is very much the same as in the anime (as far as I can tell having read the first two volumes). Regardless of being pretty spoiled having watched the anime, I really, really enjoy these books.
The trades are explained in much greater detail than in the anime, which gives you a far better understanding as to why something works. That, in turn, adds a great deal to the story.
For those who watched the anime: Remember the trenni silver coin trade? Lawerence spends two and a half pages in the book just to explain how the many different currencies work and how their value changes under certain conditions. It may sound boring, but it absolutely isn’t.
The development of the relationship between Lawerence and Horo is also described in great detail. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve caught myself grinning in delight while reading Horo getting the better of Lawerence or when Horo has her emotional moments and grows closer to Lawerence when he comforts her.
The light novels are worth every single penny and I strongly suggest any Spice & Wolf fans to get them.